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Full text of "NightRider"

36s

Donald conceded, " but well try to keep the drop." Then he
added, " Did any of you boys ever hear a bullet go by right
close to your head?"

'* I ain't honing to, neither/' Mr. Murdock said.

" I reckon I have," another man asserted. He was a small,
knotty-looking man, with a compact, dark, round, almost
featureless head. He reminded Mr. Munn of a pig-nut, little,
brown, and hard-shelled. The knotty-looking little man said
that he had been in Cuba, " For the duration/' he said, " and
I reckon I heard a few go past." He slipped one arm out of
its coat sleeve, and began to fumble at the buttons of his
shirt, " But there was one I didn't hear." He pushed back
the shirt and the thick layer of wool underwear to expose in
the lamplight the flesh of his shoulder " Yeah, there was one
didn't go past/1 He thrust his bare shoulder forward, exhibit-
ing it. In the firm, tightly muscled flesh there was a star-
shaped depression large enough to accommodate a thumb-tip,
puckered and white against the brownness of the surrounding
surface. He looked anxiously, with a kind of poorly con-
cealed pride, from face to face of the peering men.

" Now, I be dog-gone/* one of the men exclaimed slowly,
and reached out to lay a finger in the old wound.

" A Mauser ball," the small, knotty-looking man said; " it
was a Mauser done it. That was a kind of rifle them bastards
used down there/' He glanced down at the mark as though
to verify its presence, and observed: " One thing funny, now,
you know it never hurt none to speak of, that is, right at first.
Not a mite. But it shore-God knocked me down when it hit,"
He paused, then added, " It was outside Santiago,"

" I see it cracked up the clavicle some," Doctor MacDonald
said.

The small man looked up at Doctor MacDonald soberly,
" I don't know what name it goes by/' he answered, " but it
cracked a right smart." Then he grinned, for the moment,
with his small, brown, unformed face looking liie a
boy's,

" Well," Doctor MacDoaald said, " if you never feeard one